FAQ: Captured Words: A Sentimental Journey

How did you decide on the name of the book?
Shortly after my daughter was born, I was framing quotations printed on parchment paper and was calling them Captured Words. The title seemed to fit the metaphor in the introduction of the book which describes how I feel about writing on my creative days, “On those days, I am a vessel and the words just pour into my being…all I have to do is listen to the voice within and capture the words.” The subtitle, A Sentimental Journey, was suggested by my sister Jeanie. It is the name of a 1940s song our dad used to play and sing on the piano, and this book is dedicated to him.

What inspired you to write it?
After I completed Thinking About Therapy, I began to write personal narratives about my daily life. The ideas came to me while I was doing the most mundane things: driving, showering or doing the laundry. I discovered that the very people and things I thought were keeping me away from my work had become the focus of my stories. More surprising were the reactions of people who read them. They seemed to be touched by them on a deep level. I guess in the end we are more alike than we are different, and when we see ourselves in others’ experiences, it is somehow comforting.

At first I just put the essays on my website for friends and family to enjoy. Several friends persuaded me to compile them into a book, but it was my mentor, Earl Hamner, who suggested that the day to day events of my life as a baby-boomer and soccer mom would have relevance for many others in the sandwich-generation.

How long did it take you?
I wrote the essays over the course of seven years, and compiled them in the summer of 2004. 

What influenced the design of the book?
The design was inspired by the simple reflections in Captured Words which celebrate the everyday moments in our lives. I thought it would make a meaningful gift, and I wanted it to have a creative look and feel. I chose handmade paper and raffia and included simple, line-drawn illustrations by graphic artist Greg Carter (www.cyberpiggy.com).

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